Mr.Ed's Birthday Bash
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Story by Mr.Ed and TXJEEPER

Bet You Never Had a Birthday Bash Like Mr. Ed Had!


Birthday Bash
Dave and Ed play nice together on the ramp.

What happens when you get a bunch of Phoenix, Arizona's best-known hard core rockcrawlers together to have a birthday bash? Well, if you're Mr.Ed, you have friends like Dave Hickman, who get bright ideas like...well...building a rock garden out in his backyard!

Now this isn't just a little pile of rocks. Oh no.... This is over 300 tons of very large rocks, 30+ tons of crushed Granite, 30+ tons of river rock, plenty of dirt, 25 large, wooden telephone poles (Mr.Ed still calls them "telegraph poles", due to his advanced age), and under one hill is one of Shannon Campbell's truck bodies.

For those of you not familiar with Dave Hickman, he is one of Arizona's most respected wheelers. Dave was the owner of the "Black Widow" TJ and has now built himself a new rockcrawling rig. Dave has run just about every trail in the Southwest. Dave has gone and done what all of us would like to do (admit it, you too). Dave built his own 5-rated trail in his backyard, along with a fully-equiped garage.

Dave, Mr.Ed, and other AZ wheelers all helped in the making of a very difficult trail run.

"After the first truckload of rocks came in, it was all uphill", says Mr.Ed.

Truck after truck unloaded massive rocks in the yard.

"The neighbors sure could tell that something was going on, as truck after truck of rocks rolled in. The rocks sliding out of the huge steel beds of the semis and crashing to the solid Arizona desert floor made sounds like a thunderous stampede of ghostly buffalo were, once again, charging through the quiet little town of Chandler, Arizona."

Mr.Ed says that Dave chose his property well, as his neighbor has a full-blown BMX track built behind his home. His other neighbor used to be a Jeeper, himself, so he loves the trail.

After seeing the trail in his head over and over, Dave rented a front loader and began placing the rocks where he wanted them. He then dumped the dirt and river rocks over the big rocks to help keep them in place, as during a test, they discovered that even a five ton boulder can move when a vehcle tries to go over it. After placing all of the rocks, Dave put in another order for 1-3 foot rocks to use as more boulder holders.

Just for extra fun, the 25 or more telephone polls were placed throughout the trail. Some were anchored down and some were left free to roll...just to "screw you up," says Ed.

Once the chore of placing all of the rocks, dirt and poles, the trail had to be tested. Dave had the honors, and, luckily, he still had the loader, as it was needed to pull Dave's vehicle off of the rocks on more than one occasion.

After three days of work (fun?) it was considered "finished" and is now the "Best Landscaped Backyard in America," according to Ed.


More Photos! ......

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